The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, and say, ‘Shall l indeed bear a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too wonderful for the LORD?”
Some translations of this passage read, “Is anything beyond the LORD?”
However it is asked, this is a fundamental question that each of us must ultimately answer for ourselves,and the answer must not be given lightly or easily: IS anything too wonderful for the Lord?
Think back on things you have prayed for, hoped for, that did not come out the way you wanted. Does that mean that some things are impossible for the LORD? Think about the starvation in Darfur, the chaos in the Middle East, the seemingly random disasters that occur. IS anything beyond the LORD?
If the answer is Yes—some things apparently are impossible for the LORD—then, Walter Brueggemann asserts, “God is not yet confessed as God.” If, on the other hand, the answer is No, nothing is impossible for God, “that is the answer which so accepts God’s freedom that the self and the world are fully entrusted to God and no other.” But there is one thing God will not (cannot?) do, Brueggemann says, and that is circumvent the reality of suffering, hurt, the cross.
To answer No, nothing is impossible for God, is not a casual belief that every desirable thing is possible. Rather, everything is possible for those who stay through darkness and barrenness with God.
As I remember my own personal times of darkness and despair, I understand Brueggemann’s meaning: in the sadness, the fear, the grief, God was more present to me than I would have dreamed possible. God was with me as I made my way painfully through what I thought were impossible situations.
It’s a question worth pondering seriously: Is anything too wonderful for the LORD?
Blessed be God, who is doing greater things for us than we can hope for, or imagine. Amen.
Copyright © 2010 Margaret Jones.